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Behind the Freedom Curtain

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Behind the Freedom Curtain

by Unknown

Published 1957

Sales film for voting machines, promoting them as engines of governmental efficiency and practical democracy.

Run time 17:53
Producer Unknown
Sponsor Automatic Voting Machine Company
Audio/Visual Sd, C


Ken Smith sez: This, unfortunately, is not a film about communism; it's a plug for the products of the Automatic Voting Machine Company (give them credit for an eye-catching title). While the pitfalls of primitive paper balloting are shown in gleeful detail, voting machines are praised as "automatic and modern."

Voting Elections Voting machines Ballots Jamestown, N.Y.


Reviewer: dahszil - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2015
Subject: The primary problems with voting in the US
The number one problem is the administrative hurdles to register. In a significant percentage of states a working man or woman has to drive 100 miles to register with the registration office only open from 10-5pm weekdays. For various legitimate reasons a worker or a disabled person, etc can't register. And it should be free to register. I think you should be able to show up with a photo i.d. and a current piece of mail with your name on it. many persons also lack transportation

A. Elections should be a two day affair, like a Sunday and Monday.

B. counting, tabulating, seeking if votes have been dumped or hacked should be a several day period.

C. The paper ballot is best because it can be easier to find manipulation, votes being thrown out, and so on.
Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2011
Subject: The Fishy Move Back To Paper Ballots
Isn't it odd that the move back to paper ballots nearly coincided in time with the reports of questionable activites such as bribing minorities with Mc Donald meals, phony voter registrations, and diddling with and complaining about the usability of those paper ballots - sometimes requiring all kinds of (costly) maneuvers and delays to sort out elections? Seems to happen with every election these days and yet when these machines were ubiquitous or nearly so, that wasn't happening. It'd be interesting to look at who inaugerated the eerie move back to paper ballots. Bet I can guess.

I had some doubts about a box that may or may not actually record my vote - but these days I have even less trust in the propriety of politicians and their henchmen.

Give me the machine.
Reviewer: NoiseCollector - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2010
Subject: Very interesting indeed
I thought it was Superman meets Dick Tracy in the beginning. Then the honeymooner music and credits made it more than that.

The guy smoking a ciggarete was classic as well as the cars mentioned previously.

"If that be naive, let the sophisticates make the most of it." They sure have.

Also funny was "seasonal professional career politican" as something you would want on your resume back then.

I like the time warp loop at 12:10.

The starkness of the soundtrack around 15 minutes in is great for audio sampling but seems cold and stark compared to the overproduced sensory overload demanded in todays multi-media.

McLarty is an odd name to see in credits, I never knew irish were allowed to make films, interesting as well.

Now if only we could get the voters to understand basic economics, business administration, history and current events, we could really make this system work. Until then... you get what you pay for.
Reviewer: Umass_Kid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 25, 2004
Subject: Fall of votes
Quirky little film on voting. The fall images and 1950's era cars are all worth the viewing.
Reviewer: FP - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 17, 2004
Subject: Timely and interesting
In light of the subterfuge planned for the 2004 US election by ESS, Sequoia, and Diebold, this film is painful to watch.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 9, 2003
Subject: Be Sure to Vote Down the Up with Mellonville Campaign
Made by a manufacturer of voting machines, this film tries to convince us that voting machines are so much better and fairer than old-fashioned pencil-and-paper voting, mostly by constantly repeating that machines cant make the mistakes people do. Ah, if it were only that simple, we wouldnt have had that mess in the 2000 election. Actually, this is pretty well made and makes its points well, though it does tend to go on and on and on. It gives an interesting perspective on the problems of running elections, problems that still exist today. Its pontificating about democracy gets so overblown its campy in spots. But mostly this is pretty straightforward.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 16, 2003
Subject: Great title for rather interesting movie
'Behind The Freedom Curtain' is an odd little number that shows how useful viting machines are. While the intro hails democracy and the freedom of voting, it touches very little on the other meaning of the 'Freedom Curtain'. Anyways, a great intro to this machine is shown, with people of all sorts cranking away on the red handle. You gotta love the volunteer beside the machine who doesnt really do much in the film. Just shows people in and out, and waits for them to finish voting.. As well, plenty of great close ups of people thinking away about who to vote for. This is one darned good looking film, and is reccomended!
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